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Cardwell turned in his resignation Tuesday night, speaking with Tullahoma High School athletic director Jerry Mathis in length while making the decision.
“He came to my house and we talked,” said Mathis. “He decided that with his health, that he had done it long enough and that it was just time.
“David is someone who I feel has done a great job at Tullahoma High School. As our softball coach, he helped mold our softball program into a contender, and he treated the kids with the utmost respect.
“He’s just an outstanding individual and he was going to remain our softball coach for as long as he wanted to do it.”
Mathis wasted little time looking for a replacement. And he didn’t have to look very far.
Former Motlow College softball coach Gary Barfield has been tabbed to replace Cardwell. Like Cardwell, Barfield is a Tullahoma High School graduate. Both coaches played baseball for Mathis at THS.
Barfield spent 14 years as the Motlow College head coach before resigning at the end of the 2011 season. He compiled a 526-233 record at Motlow, while guiding the Lady Bucks to a 40-16 record and the NJCAA Div. I National Tournament in 2009.
Barfield has spent the last year as the boys basketball coach at East Middle School and as an assistant to Cardwell with the Lady Wildcats.
“We feel like Gary will carry the program and continue to move forward,” said Mathis on Wednesday morning. “We believe he will do what needs to be done with our softball program. I think the kids relate to him and he relates to the kids well.”
This marks the third major coaching change at Tullahoma High School this offseason, following the resignation of boys basketball coach Jeff Taylor and head wrestling coach Cody Cleveland. Both of those coaches resigned to take similar positions at other high schools.
Mathis replaced Taylor after a short search, and he stayed inside the city school system to replace Cleveland. He spent even less time going to Barfield.
Read more in the Friday edition of The Tullahoma News.
By ROBERT HOLMAN, Sports Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)